12 Stanford Cardinal football players to the NFL

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By: Ana Kieu

A total of 12 from Stanford earned opportunities in the NFL over the weekend. Five Cardinal were drafted during the three-day event in Nashville, Tenn., while five more signed as undrafted free agents following the 2019 NFL Draft and two received Rookie Mini-Camp invites.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside • WR
Philadelphia Eagles • Round 2 • Pick 57
JJ Arcega-Whiteside was selected in the second round with the 57th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Friday night by the Philadelphia Eagles. A wide receiver from Inman, S.C., Arcega-Whiteside is the first Cardinal selected by the Eagles since Ed Reynolds in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Bobby Okereke • ILB
Indianapolis Colts • Round 3 • Pick 89
Bobby Okereke was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the 89th overall pick on Friday night by the Indianapolis Colts. An inside linebacker from Santa Ana, Calif., Okereke is the first Cardinal selected by the Colts since Henry Anderson in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Bryce Love • RB
Washington Redskins • Round 4 • Pick 112
Bryce Love was selected in the fourth round with the 112th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by the Washington Redskins. A running back from Wake Forest, North Carolina, Love is the first Cardinal selected by Washington since Trent Murphy in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Jake Bailey • P
New England Patriots • Round 5 • Pick 163
Jake Bailey was selected in the fifth round with the 163rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by the New England Patriots. A punter from Solana Beach, Calif., Bailey is the first Cardinal selected by the Patriots since the 2015 NFL Draft when Jordan Richards went in the second round.

Kaden Smith • TE
San Francisco 49ers • Round 6 • Pick 176
Kaden Smith was selected in the sixth round with the 176th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by the San Francisco 49ers. A tight end from Flower Mound, Texas, Smith is the sixth Cardinal tight end drafted since 2012.

Miscellaneous
In addition to the five Cardinal draftees, seven others earned opportunities after the draft. CB Alijah Holder signed as a free agent with the Denver Broncos while OT A.T. Hall signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Tennessee Titans. OLB Joey Alfieri signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, as did OG Nate Herbig. WR Trenton Irwin was picked up by the Miami Dolphins on a free agent deal as well.

Two Cardinal earned Rookie Mini-Camp invites to bring the total to 12. OG Brandon Fanaika and C Jesse Burkett will attend 49ers camp while Burkett will also have an opportunity to attend camp with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Raiders’ 2019 NFL Draft: Newest members of the Silver and Black

Photo credit: @Raiders

By Jeremy Kahn

In what could be the final NFL Draft as the Oakland Raiders, they added nine new players to the Silver and Black in the annual NFL Draft.

Mike Mayocks first pick as the General Manager, was a shock to some; however, as Mayock drafted Clelin Ferrell, a defensive end from the 2018 National Champion Clemson Tigers.

While at Clemson, Ferrell won the Ted Hendricks Award that is awarded to the nations top defensive end. Ferrell also sacked the quarterback 27 times while at Clemson.

Twenty picks later, Mayock drafted running back Josh Jacobs, who played at Alabama and faced Ferrell and the Tigers in the National Championship Game held at Levis Stadium on January 7.

During the 2018 season, Jacobs totaled 1,315 yards in total offense for the Crimson Tide, as they made it to three straight National Championship and winning the 2018 NCG over the Georgia Buldogs at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Mayock then returned to defense with his number 27, as he drafted Safety Johnathan Abram out of Mississippi State.

With his only pick in the second and third rounds, Mayock drafted Ferrells college teammate Trayvon Mullen, who played cornerback for Dabo Swinneys Tigers, who became the first team to go 15-0 since the 1897 Penn Quakers.

Once again, Mayock went defense with his pick in the fourth round, as defensive end Maxx Crosby out of Eastern Michigan became a Raider at pick number 106.

While playing for the Eagles in the Mid-Amercian Conference, Crosby complied 20 sacks and 41 tackles for loss.

Mayock continued pick defensive players, as 23 picks after Crosby joined the team, Isaiah Johnson, a cornerback from the University of Houston joined the Silver and Black.

Eight picks later, Mayock went with LSU tight end Foster Moreau, who started in 26 games and caught 52 passes in his career for the Tigers for 629 yards and six touchdowns.

Hunter Renfrow, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass from DeShaun Watson in the 2017 National Championship Game against Alabama, was drafted with pick number 149 of the fifth round.

Renfrow is the third member of the 2018 National Champion Tigers team to be drafted by the team.

With their final pick of the draft, the Raiders went with the nephew of a former Raiders running back, as they went with Prairie View defensive end Quinton Bell, whose Uncle Nick, played for the Raiders from 1991-1993 and carried the ball 226 times for 853 yards and seven touchdowns.

Kaden Smith drafted by the San Francisco 49ers

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By: Ana Kieu

Kaden Smith was selected in the sixth round with the 176th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by the San Francisco 49ers. A tight end from Flower Mound, Texas, Smith is the sixth Cardinal tight end drafted since 2012.

“Kaden is a very versatile tight end,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “His size and strength give him the ability to be an every down blocker in the NFL and his athleticism will give him the opportunity to be a very good pass catcher as well. Kaden has a knack for making contested catches down the field and tight ends that work the seams in the NFL play for a long time.”

A 2018 Mackey Award finalist, Smith was named All-Pac 12 second team a season ago. He finished his career with 70 receptions for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns in 25 career games. He also earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention two times.

“Kaden is the most complete tight end coming out in this year’s class,” Cardinal tight ends coach Morgan Turner said. “His ability to make tough catches is rivaled by very few. He also wants to be part of the run game, which very few guys want to do these days. You can put him at the point of attack and trust him in the run game. Kaden really embraced that and did a great job with it.”

Smith shined in 2018, playing in 11 games with 10 starts. He totaled 47 catches for 635 yards and two touchdowns. He was named Mackey Award Player of the Week following an eight-catch, 107-yard, one-touchdown performance against Washington. As a sophomore in 2017, he played in 14 games and totaled 23 catches for 414 yards and five touchdowns.

Jake Bailey drafted by the New England Patriots

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By: Ana Kieu

Jake Bailey was selected in the fifth round with the 163rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by the New England Patriots. A punter from Solana Beach, Calif., Bailey is the first Cardinal selected by the Patriots since 2015.

Jake Bailey has been a weapon for us for years,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “He has the strong leg to be a very good kickoff specialist that pins the opponent’s offense back to start their drives. Jake also has the ability not only to boot long punts that change field position, but also to pin the opponent back inside their 20-yard-line, sometimes inside the 10. That is a skill that is very coveted by NFL teams and the Patriots are getting a good one.”

Bailey was named All-Pac-12 three times during his career with the Cardinal and finished as Stanford’s all-time leader in career punting average (43.81). His 185 punts are sixth-most in school history as are his 8,105 career punt yards. He totaled just 17 touchbacks with 51 fair catches, 76 inside the 20, and 54 punts of 50+ yards in 52 career games. Bailey also totaled 291 kickoffs for 18,428 yards (63.3 avg) and 173 touchbacks.

“Jake has an ability to directional punt,” Cardinal special teams coordinator Pete Alamar said. “He can put the ball into tight spaces which helps your coverage unit. He’s a high ball hitter–he’s not a guy that drives the ball. He has a great relationship between the distance and the hang time to allow his coverage unit to get down the field. The Patriots are also going to like him because of his kickoff ability. He takes the returner out of the game in that aspect.”

Bailey totaled 86 punts for 2,996 yards (44.06 avg) in 2018, playing in all 13 games. His 68 punts were the seventh-most in school history while his 2,996 yards were the fourth-most. He had 20 punts of 50+ yards and 24 punts inside the 20. He also kicked off for the Cardinal, with 60 touchbacks as a senior. He punctuated his career with a school-record 84-yard punt against Cal.

As a junior in 2017, Bailey earned All-Pac-12 honors after punting 57 times for an average of 45.5 yards. He had touchbacks on 58 of 83 kickoffs. As a sophomore in 2016, he punted 50 times for 2,176 yards with 13 punts over 50 yards and 22 inside the 20. He had 44 touchbacks on 71 kickoffs. He was the Cardinal kickoff specialist as a freshman in 2015 and also punted 10 times situationally.

Bryce Love drafted by the Washington Redskins

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By: Ana Kieu

Bryce Love was selected in the fourth round with the 112th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday by the Washington Redskins. A running back from Wake Forest, N.C., Love is the first Cardinal selected by Washington since Trent Murphy in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

“Bryce Love is special,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “He’s not just a speedy outside-the-box guy, but he’s a running back. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry and had 13 50-yard runs in 2017, things that just don’t make any sense. Bryce is fast and explosive, but he also breaks tackles. He led the nation in yards after contact a year ago. He’s a game changer, a field position changer. He scores touchdowns and he’s also a phenomenal human being. He’s going to be a strong asset for the Washington Redskins.”

The 2017 Heisman Trophy runner-up and 2018 team captain, Love was a three-time All-Pac-12 honoree. He won the 2017 Doak Walker Award, Lombardi Award, was a unanimous All-American and the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year. He finished his career with 3,866 rushing yards, 30 rushing touchdowns and 16 career 100-yard games. His 6.79 yards per carry average set a new school record.

“The reason Bryce is going to be successful is because he’s a professional, he works hard, he’s competitive and he’s very talented,” Cardinal running backs coach Ron Gould said. “He’s going to make plays where there aren’t a lot of plays to be made. He’s a lot stronger than people think — he had over 1,000 yards after contact his junior year – and he’s the fastest guy in the draft. You can’t count Bryce out because he has an impeccable work ethic, he’s passionate and he wants to be the best to ever play the game. When the lights and cameras aren’t on, Bryce is still going to be working.”

During his record-breaking season in 2017, Love rushed for 2,118 yards, averaged 162.9 yards per game and a school-record 8.05 yards per carry. He had 12 100-yard games, 30 rushes of more than 20 yards, 24 of more than 30 yards, 15 40-yard rushes, an FBS record 13 50-yard rushes and seven 60-yard rushes. He set a new FBS record with 13 consecutive games with a 30-yard rush and 11 straight games with a 50-yard rush.

Love was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 last season when he totaled 166 carries for 739 yards and six touchdowns–playing in and starting 10 games. In 2016, he was also honorable mention All-Pac-12 as he totaled 783 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He finished his career with 32 touchdowns and two two-point conversions for 196 career points.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside drafted by Philadelphia Eagles

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By: Ana Kieu

JJ Arcega-Whiteside was selected in the second round with the 57th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft on Friday night by the Philadelphia Eagles. A wide receiver from Inman, S.C., Arcega-Whiteside is the first Cardinal selected by the Eagles since Ed Reynolds in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

“JJ makes big catches that change field position and scores touchdowns,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “He is a difference maker that can make highlight catches and that is one of those traits that translates really well from college to the NFL.”

A 2018 team captain and Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, Arcega-Whiteside earned All-Pac 12 second team honors last season while tying a 41-year-old school record with 14 touchdown catches. He finished second in school history with 28 career touchdown receptions and third in school history with nine 100-yard receiving games. His 2,219 career receiving yards are the 12th-most all-time at Stanford and his 135 receptions rank 18th.

“His work ethic is unbelievable,” said wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy. “He wants to be a really good player. I think he’s only scratched the tip of his potential. Play after play after play after play, if you look at him throughout his career at Stanford, he just continued to make plays. He’s not only a great player, but a great person. The Eagles are getting a player who will not only improve the organization as a player, but even more so as a person.”

Arcega-Whiteside totaled 63 catches for 1,059 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior in 2018. His 14 touchdown catches led the Pac-12 and ranked No. 3 in the country. His 1,059 receiving yards were the fifth-most in Stanford history for a single season and his five 100-yard receiving games were the fourth-most in a given year.

In 2017, Arcega-Whiteside earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention after totaling a team-high 48 receptions for 781 yards and nine touchdowns. He totaled 24 catches for 379 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore in 2016, earning Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention.

Bobby Okereke drafted by Indianapolis Colts

Photo credit: gostanford.com

By: Ana Kieu

Bobby Okereke was selected in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the 89th overall pick on Friday night by the Indianapolis Colts. An inside linebacker from Santa Ana, Calif. Okereke is the first Cardinal selected by the Colts since Henry Anderson in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

“Bobby has intrigued the scouts during the pre-draft process,” Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw said. “His length, speed and athleticism have truly put him on the radar for a lot of teams. From day one, he will probably be a starter on multiple special teams and will be battling to get on the field as a linebacker early in his career for the Colts.”

A 2018 team captain, Okereke was twice named All-Pac-12 honorable mention during his career. He played in 51 career games, totaling 240 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He also had nine passes defended, one interception, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He added a touchdown and safety for the Cardinal.

“Bobby Okereke is an all-down linebacker,” inside linebackers coach Peter Hansen said. “He is long, he is fast, he has good hip flexibility and he can flip his hips and cover in space. He can tackle in space, too. He has extremely long arms so he can keep himself clean off blockers. He will fit in really well with the Colts.”

As a senior last season, Okereke was named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and was on the watch lists for the Butkus and Bednarik Awards. He started all 13 games, leading the team for a second straight year with 96 tackles (52 solo). He also had 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, five pass breakups and a safety.

In 2017, Okereke played in 14 games and had 96 tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He also had one forced fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown at Washington State. As a junior in 2016, he started all 13 games he played and made 41 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks. He played in 11 games with seven tackles as a sophomore in 2015.

Josh Oliver was a Jacksonville Jaguars’ third round draft pick

Photo credit: sjsuspartans.com

By: Ana Kieu

For San Jose State University tight end Josh Oliver, a dream came true on the second day of the 2019 NFL Draft as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ first selection in the third round.

Oliver was the 69th overall selection in the Draft. He was the fifth tight end, the second from the 12-team Mountain West, and the second player from one of the three Bay Area schools that included Pac-12 Conference members Stanford and Cal to hear his name announced in the Draft so far.

Video Highlights

“I like to pattern my game after Tony Gonzalez. As a freshman coming in (to San Jose State), my college coach showed me a lot of Tony Gonzalez tape and I’d like to do as much as he can,” Oliver said in his first interview with the Jaguars media. He will be united with new Jags offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, who had the same position at SJSU during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Oliver, the 6’5″, 250-lb tight end from Paso Robles, Calif., is the first SJSU player in 10 years to be chosen in the first three rounds of a Draft. In 2009, defensive lineman Jarron Gilbert, the 68th overall selection by the Chicago Bears, and cornerback Christopher Owens, the 90th overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons, were among the top 100 players drafted that year.

Oliver was a first-team All-MW choice as a senior in 2018. He caught a team-high 56 passes for 709 yards and four touchdowns. 38 of his receptions (67.8%) resulted in a first down, one of the top three percentages by a NCAA Division I FBS tight end last season. He concluded his college career playing in the 2019 Senior Bowl.

For SJSU, Oliver is the third tight end drafted by a NFL team since 1996. Brian Roche was a third-round draft choice, 81st overall selection, by the San Diego Chargers in 1996. In 2004, Courtney Anderson was an Oakland Raiders’ seventh round pick, 245th overall.

Stanford Cardinal football podcast with Jerry Feitelberg: Love leaves Stanford and the Sun Bowl and prepares for NFL draft

bleacherreport.com file photo: Stanford Cardinal running back Bryce Love is setting his sites on the 2019 NFL Draft and foregoing the Sun Bowl on New Years Eve between the Cardinal and the TCU Horned Frogs

On the Stanford Cardinal podcast with Jerry Feitelberg:

#1 Stanford running back Bryce Love chose to participate in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against Pittsburgh. Love has been hampered with injuries all season.

#2 Love said that he wants to be completely healthy for the 2019 NFL draft.

#3 Will Love be a high draft pick?

#4 Love had an incredible 2017 with 2118 yards rushing, 19 touchdowns, this season he had only 739 yards

#5 The Big game, the Sun Bowl, is upon us between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Stanford Cardinal on New Year’s Eve Monday, Dec. 31st.

Jerry has the Stanford Cardinal podcast each Thursday and Daniel Dullum has game recap coverage of the Sun Bowl on New Years Eve at http://www.sportsradioservice.com